Prescription Drugs Second Leading Cause of Drug Deaths

In the 1990’s, there was a push towards using various new controlled forms of opioids in prescription drugs. Before, they were used only inside of hospitals as controlled medication directly administered by a physician. The resulting legalization of prescription opioids resulted in pharmaceuticals like oxycodone and hydrocodone being available to patients to use outside of a controlled hospital environment as a painkiller, typically prescribed after injury or surgery. The argument was that the amounts were manageable and not as addictive as more concentrated forms which would be found inside of hospitals in drugs like morphine.

Opioids in Oregon, which are any drug processed from the more well-known drug opium, are some of the most effective pain relievers in medicine and have a variety of effective uses when in controlled environments. The unfortunate side effect of the drug is the high risk of addiction of it in users. Drugs like heroin, itself an opioid, are quite infamous as an extremely addictive and dangerous narcotic and for these very reasons. Addiction to a drug in and of itself isn’t essentially the problem if it has no other dangerous effects. The problem with opioids and addiction is that overdose becomes an increasing risk if the addiction is left untreated. Used in high levels, which is common in those whose tolerance builds up to the drug through repeated use that typically defines addiction itself, can result in a shut down of the areas of the brain that control respiratory function in the body, killing the person.

A recent report by the Department of Human Health and Services found that prescription drugs, which included variations of opioids, was found to be the second leading cause of overdoses among all illicit drugs claiming the lives of an average of 115 people per day. Possibly the more surprising fact is that 90 percent of addicts were not receiving treatment for their addiction to opioids. In response to this crisis of public health, the Surgeon General released an advisory to encourage medical facilities to use naloxone, a drug which can save patients that have overdosed on opioids. The drug itself blocks opioid receptors which have the effect of reducing the effect of opioids, including overdose instances, which can prevent fatality in the user. In it’s FDA approved forms, it is available in injections and nasal inhalant. Naloxone is becoming more widespread in availability to hospitals for treatment of opioid overdose, but is still not nearly common enough to handle the rate of overdoses occurring all over the country.

The best preventative measure to opioid overdose, though, is to recognize the addiction and treat the it before risk of overdose. If you or someone you love might be addicted to oxycodone or other opioids, Aspire can help you find the right rehab center in Oregon with treatment options that fit your needs. Contact our counselors at (844) 278-2919 for assistance and information about our rehabilitation programs.